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Dragon Challenge reviews

Theme Park Insider readers offer their ratings and reviews for Dragon Challenge, a roller coaster in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. (The minimum height to ride is 54 inches.)

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Written by
Theme Park Insider Editor
Posted: March 29, 2014

Islands of Adventure's Dueling Dragons roller coaster was rethemed to the Tri-Wizard Tournament's "Dragon Challenge" for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter when the land opened in 2010. Like on Dueling Dragons, there are two interlocking coasters, renamed the Chinese Fireball and the Hungarian Horntail. The two Bolliger & Mabillard inverted coasters no longer "duel," riding next to one another at points on the track, due to several incidents in the past where passengers lost personal items, such as glasses and cell phones, that flew toward passengers on the other track at the moment as it was passing.

Readers' rating:

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152 votes, so far

Even though they no longer duel because of dumb guests, these are still two awesome coasters. They're both more intense than the Hulk and are not to be missed. - Quentin Scruggs

I liked it a little rough but they should always have the trains going together 8/10 - Owen Scott

One of the wildest rides in Orlando. This coaster packs plenty of inversions on its track and the somewhat dueling nature of the coaster adds a different dimension to it as well. This ride is intense but if you try this, chances are you'll get back in line and ride the other coaster. The queueing area is really long, although waits are rarely more than 20 minutes. The Triwizard theme is moderately represented on this ride and offers plenty of references from the fourth book/movie of the series. It's a cool ride. - Manny Barron

Ever since they took the whole premise of the duel out of the ride, it has lost some it's appeal for me. Individually, both are really good coasters, but the uniqueness is gone. Of the 2 sides, I prefer the Red Dragon... it's a smoother ride. - Michelle Morgan

It's a nice ride. Rip rocket is better (when it is working) but the ride is one of my favorites. On my recent trip to IOA the cast members (is that what they are caled at universal?) freaked out because I was wearing a lanyard with my universal express pass. I had worn the same lanyard before on that ride, but they delayed the train and told me to put it under my shirt. Any way it is a must ride. Ride it when HPFG has a 3 hour line. 9/10 - Jaiden Cohen

While I think the new theming is an ok improvement, the dueling aspect is now gone. That is the novelty of this attraction. That's the point. - Anthony Murphy

It's sad to see the dueling aspect disappear but it still stands as a fun steel coaster. - Jeff Moon

Dueling Dragons was one of my favorite theme park experiences all around - theme, queue, it was spectacular. I agree with another review, the ride is now a shell of its former self. The fact that the coasters no longer duel pretty much sucks the life out of it. They are still good coasters individually, but the twin vertical loops used to be the most thrilling thing about the ride. Now, I guess it's the airtime on the Fire coaster.. or the "Chinese Fireball." The new queue is little more than vaguely interesting. And those fantastic statues are gone. I wouldn't have expected IoA to ruin one of its best attractions like this. Really disappointing. - Renee Michelle

Used to be my favorite roller coaster until Harry Potter. The line is less spectacular and the coasters don't duel anymore :( I sure do miss those dragons also. 8/10 - Bryce McGibeny

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